In-store retail took a big financial hit during the pandemic. Governments told us to halt our fun shopping expeditions and stay at home. And we did.
But the top retailers are fighting back, using a combination of technology, people, and creativity to provide their customers with something different.
Help inspire changes to your retail business by reading through our four retail experience examples from brands that got it right.
Apple needs no introduction. If you’ve visited an Apple store before, you’ll understand that an Apple store is something unique in the retail world. They even have a name for it: The Town Square.
The core principle behind Apple’s retail innovation is that the customer experience comes first; selling comes after. They want their stores to feel like a local community hub instead of a traditional shop.
Retail display cabinets aren’t the focal point. Comfort in seating, lighting, and entertainment is there instead.
The result is that Apple maintains its status as a must-have premium brand. Even with steep prices, customers line up outside their stores during a new product launch.
Sephora has, for decades, led the way as an innovator in the retail experience. Stepping foot inside a Sephora store is not like you’ll find in the average beauty shop.
Part of that comes down to their image: they’ve created a signature black and white look that is unmistakable when walking through any shopping center.
But the other aspect of their in-store customer experience is their fantastic staff. Sephora invests in highly trained shop assistants who offer customers advice and support.
They call these staff members “cast members” and model their experience on the makeup section of a film set.
We can best sum up Lush’s retail experience with one of our five senses: smell. You’ll smell the scent of a Lush store before you even look up from your phone to see the minimalist logo. It is lush in every meaning of the word.
Lush uses technology to its advantage by replacing the typical checkout with self-service tablets for fast and easy payment.
Beautiful and accessible product displays are another hallmark of lush. They stack bath bombs and soaps in baskets, and with minimal plastic packaging, they are doing a lot for the environment.
Another retail company investing in technical innovations is the clothing brand Zara. This chic fashion brand has invested in AR (augmented reality) to help customers visualize the clothes as they browse the store.
Zara is also helping their customers create a more comprehensive fashion look instead of buying clothes as separates. That allows them to compete with newer styling services like Lookiero.
Using one-click technology on their phone, customers can find all the clothing items from an outfit they love. You can find more info on ascenticretail.com about using technology to improve your retail setup.
Retail Experience Examples to Inspire
Each of these four retail experience examples should offer you plenty of ideas for your business. You can invest in technology or in training your staff. You can invest in unique product displays or a comfortable community feel.
The more you focus on good customer service in retail, the more your business will continue to thrive. Find ideas for your next in-store promotional offer for your customers by browsing our recent business posts.